Valerian “Sleep” Supplements Vary Widely in Key Compounds

Valerian root supplements are a popular sleep remedy, but recent tests by show that many don’t contain the amounts of key compounds (valerenic acids) used in most clinical studies. In addition, some supplements made from whole root, rather than root extract, are contaminated with lead.

These results have been published in the Valerian Supplements Review on

However, since this is a subscription-based web-site, if you desire the entire review (including the names of the supplements that were “approved”), you may have to purchase the review.

According to the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database:

Valerian is POSSIBLY EFFECTIVE for Insomnia.

Most research shows that taking valerian orally modestly reduces the time to sleep onset (sleep latency), and improves subjective sleep quality. The greatest benefit is usually seen in patients taking 400-900 mg valerian extract up to 2 hours before bedtime. An analysis of studies shows that taking valerian significantly increases the chance of having improved sleep quality by 1.8 times. Taking valerian also seems to decrease time to sleep onset by 14-17 minutes.

This entry was posted in General Health. Bookmark the permalink.